The career benefits of interim management

The interim industry has been growing steadily for a number of years, a trend that looks set to continue. The concept of interim management is becoming more widely embraced as an effective option for both managers seeking a career change and for organisations trying to work more efficiently.

Statistics show that interim management is growing in popularity as a career choice and spreading across a wider demographic. The most recent IIM Interim Management Survey in 2014 shows a steadily growing trend for interim managers across a widening age range and also a more even gender spread; as female interim managers now account for 28% of the industry, up from just 20% in 2010.

These shifts can be attributed in part to an increased willingness from organisations to utilise interim managers. However it is clear that there has also been an increase in professionals moving to an interim method of working to provide the supply for that growing demand.

What is driving this uptake?

One of the main factors helping to drive this uptake is the quality of lifestyle offered by working as an interim manager. Many believe that working on an interim basis can offer solutions to many of the problems that senior managers find with life in a permanent role.

Many senior figures in permanent roles express dissatisfaction with similar areas of their professional life. This tends to include being overworked and feeling unable to take holidays due to their importance in the day to day running of the organisation. In addition to this they often feel that their expertise is taken for granted and that they lack fresh challenges in their role.

How can interim management solve this?

The flexibility of working as an interim manager means that many of these issues become far less pressing. Many professionals struggle with the stress encountered in their high pressure roles, and find it tough to find a satisfying work-life balance. Due to the short-term nature of interim contracts this becomes less of a problem – some interim managers even take breaks between assignments to avoid feeling burned out.

In a permanent position, senior figures can end up feeling that their skills and expertise are not as valued as they should be. This is often the case if they have been part of the organisation for a long time. Arriving in a new work environment, interims often find that these skills will be more highly valued and the hiring company will actively look to their expertise for guidance.

Another major benefit of working as an interim manager is that it creates the opportunity to diversify experience – most interims take assignments across a broad range of sectors. This helps to avoid fatigue from working on similar projects year in year out.

Long term benefits of working on an interim basis

The benefits of interim working can be beneficial on both a day-to-day and long term basis. Interim managers tend to experience a greater level of job satisfaction, as their short term contracts mean less stress and greater ability to take control of their working life. The increased flexibility also means they can avoid corporate politics and distractions which those in a permanent management position often have to contend with – leaving them free to focus on the job at hand and achieve effective results.

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